Choose from three different forms of laminate: strips, planks, or squares.
Almost any wood, tile, or stone look is available and unusual or
"ultra-dramatic" looks are easy to achieve. For example, exotic woods like
teak, bamboo, and apple wood. In their natural forms, these materials are
typically out of most homeowners' budget range, but with laminate they
become more manageable.
Mixing and matching laminate styles is a great way to achieve a look
that's all your own. Unlike wood, laminate floors can't be refinished down
the road, should your tastes change. However, laminate floors of the
"locking" variety (i.e., installed without glue) can be easily removed and
Laminate floors are extremely durable. The
wear layer, combined with the strength of the core, make laminate highly
resistant to scratches, dents and dings, as well as to moisture and
stains. Although not waterproof, laminate floors are more resistant to
water damage than traditional wood floors. Most manufacturers guarantee
the surface will not fade or wear through.
Cleanup is quick, easy and minimal. The
high-tech surface of a laminate floor is designed to be cleaned by
vacuuming and occasional damp mopping. Spills wipe up with a damp cloth.
Do-It-Yourself -- Or Not?
Laminate floors can be installed
professionally. However, depending on the complexity of the job, and how
handy a homeowner you are, you may be able to install it yourself. There
are two types of laminate floor installation systems available: standard
glue and locking laminate. The standard glue system is the traditional
method. It requires glue and clamps to hold the boards in place. This
system is best suited for the more sophisticated do-it-yourselfer or
professional installer. Newer locking laminates are easier and faster to
install than standard glue systems. There's no waiting for the glue to
dry, and furniture can be moved back onto the floor immediately after
installation. Armstrong's ArmaLockTM Installation System is especially
easy because it has a uniquely designed profile that automatically aligns
the boards and locks them together for a precision fit.